Band – Dethklok
Album – Dethalbum IV
Country of Origin – USA
Genre – Melodeath
Release Date – June 21, 2023
Label – WaterTower Music
Author – Taylor “Kat” Goodman
Death metal fans rejoice as everyone’s favorite cartoon metal band, Dethklok of Adult Swim show Metalocalypse, returns for a brand new album, a live tour, and a final movie, marking a long-awaited finale to the legendary series.
Their most recent album, Dethalbum IV, received a warm welcome after an indefinite hiatus. Their last full album, Dethklok III, came out in 2012, but Dethklok IV seems to pick up exactly where they left off. The mind behind Metalocalypse, Brendon Small, and his co-creators have returned with a vengeance, the entire Dethklok band still as brutal and intense as ever.
The short but fast-paced album lasts 42 minutes and 48 seconds but is packed with 11 riff-fueled songs, all of which feature the classic death metal elements of low growls, intense and fast-paced drumming, and of course, lyrics of the most brutal fashion.
Gardener of Vengeance, for example, starts the album out with a long-time death metal staple: chainsaw noises, calling back to early Carcass and Mortician. Aortic Desecration could easily fit in with the new Dying Fetus, or other modern death metal legends such as Suffocation, proving that Dethklok can stay relevant and evolve their style even after a 10-year hiatus.
Dethklok’s guitar genius Skwisgaar Swigelf (Brendan Small, again) brings his most beautiful riffs to this album, especially in Satellite Bleeding, comparable to the likes of another famed Swedish guitarist: Ola Englund. The smooth, fluid guitar work is even more impressive considering the band was originally not meant to be taken seriously.
While the original concept of Metalocalypse and its first album, The Dethalbum, were more of a spoof on metal bands, Dethalbum IV goes in the opposite direction with songs that have as much feeling and thought put behind them as any real, non-cartoon band would. Even the more jokey pieces like Poisoned by Food or Gardener of Vengeance have beautifully crafted riffs, brutal vocals, and tight, clean recording quality.
Whether we’ll see anything else from Dethklok is unknown, but this album (and the new movie) is something metalheads can enjoy again and again for decades to come.